Sunday Confessionals : Answers

Photo by Oloriel: visit her HERE

Implacably Human

The dawn settles

pensive and oyster-shell pink

into the stinging arms

of another edge-less morning.

Each day I wake up

drifting from one

dream to another,

transparent and ubiquitous

like a jellyfish.

It was the lies

that caused the breach

not what those lies

sought to obfuscate.

It is always the lies

but no one gets that

they think

trust is lost

in the imperfections,

in the momentary cruelties.

We all lie.

When I say

I am certain

that is always a lie

because I never am.

I don’t know

means more

than pity anyhow.

I don’t know

is implacably human.

Sometimes

I want to hear

nice things.

I want to be

spoken to the way

a child speaks

when blowing off

the head of a dandelion.

I want the dusk

delicate and womb soft

to envelop me

but mostly it is the moon

that I want

tremulous, pock-marked, inconstant

to fill me

with her mournful, pink cries.

Sick

Photo by Olivier Collet on Unsplash

About a week ago I developed acid reflux. Not the sort that lasts a few hours and then settles down. The sort that lasts 24 hours. The sort that involves coughing up stomach acid and talking like Marge Simpson. The sort that keeps you up at night clutching your chest and choking. This of course was on top of my 20 kg weight loss (in the last year). The last thing I needed was something that would make it difficult to eat when I am experiencing unexplained weight-loss. I had planned to wait until I returned to Sweden to investigate the cause of my weight loss but then the acid reflux started and my pain tolerance is not high enough to cope with 24 hours of the worst acid reflux I have ever had. So I called the doctor and they made an appointment same day through the emergency room. Good news I am not bleeding internally! Funny news they could not get my records from Sweden so I ended up receiving a pregnancy test. I do not have a uterus and I am not having sex so it might not come as a surprise that I am not pregnant. She tested for other things like thyroid disease, Celiac disease, cancer, infections etc. I do not know the results yet. I will also have to have an endoscopy to see why I have suddenly developed acid reflux. I have been given a medicine for that which is starting to help. I have a fear that it is all stress-related. That somehow I am stressing myself into a state of starvation. Like somehow I use so much energy on stress that my body decided to consume itself. Anyhow she was concerned about the weight-loss. I came home from the doctor and immediately developed a cold. When I was in the office, no cold symptoms. I came home and BAM a full blown cold with lots and lots and lots sneezing and nose blowing. I did not want this either because it means more coughing and restrictions. I had been going out during the days to buy little extra food items from the store to supplement because of the weight-loss. Usually Lukas shops and he eats things like lentils, cabbage, spelt, oranges which are good things but they are not cutting it calorie-wise right now. I also feel silly about complaining about weight-loss. I have struggled with weight-loss in the past. I have wanted to lose weight in the past. Lukas thinks protruding bones are beautiful and to be honest I think society agrees with him. So if I say to someone I am losing weight fast and I am now underweight lots of people think it is fantastic news. Every time I have ever been underweight as an adult I have been sick constantly. Is that what healthy should feel like weakness, illness, fatigue, poor mental health? In 13 degree Celsius weather I need a wool jumper and a wool jacket and gloves. Is that what other people feel every day all the time?

Photo Challenge #423

Photo credit Darrell Whiley

Her hands

gather like waves

and unfurl

against my skin.

Love has no meaning

without her.

She is more

than an ocean

can fathom.

She is for me

the love of all things.

There may be better options

but I cannot see

how they relate to me

when the fullness of her

occupies me wholly.

Her eyes are the stars in effigy.

She speaks in a voice

which quivers.

Her heart is a tempest.

Her hair, a halo

reflecting the sun.

Do not ask me

if she is beautiful

because there is no one

I could compare her too.

She is my muse.

I can see her

on the water’s edge

in a pink tearaway dress

beckoning me

with her whole body

like music.

In my arms

she retreats delicately.

I press my lips to her flesh.

She is supple

and full of laughter.

“Mistakes

are what make life

interesting.“

She says

moving against me

like the wind,

touching

but without leaving

a visible trace.

We dance

on the water’s edge

our kisses salty,

the sand beneath our feet

soft and dense

like an old love song.

We are perfect

for the moment.

A rainbow blooms,

beautiful and unfinished

on the crest of a wave.

Maybe there’s a reason

everything is transitory.

The specks of gold

in her irises,

the freckles

on her shoulders

I have counted all of them.

There is thunder

in our hearts

as we take in the rain

of our infinite yearnings.

We could die happy

and if that is not living

then there is no place

for me in this world.

I need only

what is inside of us,

the capacity

to feel my own sorrows

and my own joys

from start to finish.

If freedom is not

the expression

of one’s heart

then I do not know

the meaning of the word.

She may have power over me

but such is the way of nature

to follow what you crave

from one end

of the earth to the other.

Photo Challenge #423

Wordle #279

There was pop and a sudden searing sensation as the hot dog released its juices into his waiting mouth. The sun overhead was relentless, like the needle on a sewing machine, it imposed upon his bare arms and his cleanly shaven face with unnerving precision. His hair was too hot. His clothes were too close. He stood some feet away from the vendor, near a tree. The tree was decorated mostly with old shoes. It provided little in the way of shade or holiday spirit but he liked the idea of it. The idea that simply by changing ones’ shoes you could become someone else, you could take a different path, you could discover an entirely new mode of being.

The hotdog left him feeling vaguely queasy and not altogether satisfied. He licked the mustard and ketchup from his fingertips and threw away his soiled napkin. If only it were so easy to throw away blame. His wife blamed him for a great many things that hadn’t worked out in her life. She couldn’t cope with the loss of her youth, with the loss of her beauty (according to her), with the fact that he looked ten years younger than she did even though they were the same age. He wasn’t entirely sure how his youthful appearance offended her but it did offend her greatly. She was jealous now. She hadn’t been jealous at the beginning of their relationship. He was just as loyal but for some reason she didn’t believe him anymore. She was, to him, still the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen, only now she was angry most of the time.

He fingered the bishop in his pocket, it was all that remained of a chess set that his grandfather had given him when he was a child. It was his good luck charm and whenever he felt something uncomfortable he held it between his fingers very gently to ground himself. He’d never really developed an interest in the game but he could remember playing with the pieces much the way another boy might play with toy soldiers or superhero figurines. The bishop in his pocket was made of dark wood and his caresses had worn it very smooth. As he stood there wondering precisely when he had lost his enthusiasm for life his eyes fell upon a red pair of Converse sneakers suspended from the tree beside him. Good condition. Right size. He took them down and exchanged them for his own shoes.

As he walked around the city, in his borrowed shoes and his borrowed identity, he felt more like himself than he had in years. His whole life had been a myth. Love. Success. Beauty. It was all just an elaborate social hoax, a game of chess, a caste system which split the world into the haves and the have-nots. He was technically on the winning side. He loved his wife, however she felt about him. He had a job. He was a photographer and he was good at it so the pay was good. Only in the process of making money and getting good he’d lost interest. He wanted to take imperfect pictures of unlikely people. He didn’t want to take pictures of people who posed like museum sculptures. He wanted to take pictures of people who hadn’t yet had all their humanness wrung out of them.

Just then he saw a young woman in a red dress leaning over to kiss a young man in a white t-shirt and faded jeans. The man fumbled with his phone and offered her a weak, fictional smile. He could see the scales in their relationship were unbalanced. He could see her heart broken and eager surging up in her throat like vomit. He watched her smile, then grimace as she swallowed her disappointment. He watched her pick up her own phone and jab at it half-heartedly while throwing her disinterested lover the occasional wounded look.

In her he witnessed a desire to connect, a desire crushed by mediocrity and indifference. Conversation. Affection. Intimacy. These were archaic notions. Civilized humans networked and stigmatized. Civilized humans didn’t build foundations, they built facades. Civilized humans walked in the park while looking at pictures on their phones. Pictures which had been carefully edited to remove all that was genuine, vulnerable, and imperfect. Graham, for that was his name, decided that today he was going to pick flowers for his wife instead of buying them. He was going to dig them up by the roots and plant them in a little ceramic pot and give them to her. He hoped that she would laugh at him. Not a mean, derisive laugh but a sweet, giggly laugh. She looked younger when she laughed, when she was happy and her nose crunched up and she forgot the symmetry of her face.

Sunday Confessionals : Hello

Dear Heart,

When we first met my life was in transition but instead of changing I just went on pretending that I was a mountain. High and mighty. Immovable. Distant. Jagged and worn. I can endure just about anything. That is my superpower. I should have been fighting to save myself but instead I just went right on living the same way even though the life I was living had ceased to exist. It took me quite a long time to realize that the only home I have and perhaps ever well have is my own body. Wherever my body goes I follow. 

Knowing you has changed me, profoundly. We’ve gone on adventures together. We’ve played like children in the park. We’ve had firsts. You are the first man to take me on a snowmobile, to take me kick sledding, to let me drive a tractor etc. You invited me into your home. Into your family. You brought me with you to Norway. Sometimes you do not even deny that we are a couple. My emotions have more layers now. My personality is bolder and more nuanced. I have found reserves of courage and energy I did not know myself to possess. I have never known such depths of anger, joy, love, disappointment, despair, gratitude, surrender, freedom.

The hardest thing about all these new feelings to accept is that I am the one feeling them. I am the one living outside of my skin while you are safe inside yours, beside me but not totally immersed in the experience the way I am. When you look at me you don’t see forever. I am not a potential lover or wife. I am a woman who is accessible, loved, but unnecessary. I am not your ideal, even though you show up again and again on my list. I have no real power over you. It’s incomprehensible to me that no matter how deep your heart goes, your intellect will always be capable of digging it out again. When you do decide to find the right woman, you will go on, you will have a life without me and that life will be enough for you. I will feel your absence with every part of me. Maybe your absence will be the thing which finally breaks me. I think I could let you break me.

I have a lover who will never make love to me. I have a husband who will never marry me. I have a boyfriend who thinks kissing feels too much. I have a partner who searches for me in other people and tells me so. Maybe one day you will find a me, who is not me, and she will be to you what the universe is to a person, everything. 

I am the person you love most in the world. I am every hour of your day. I am a majority of the people in your life. I occupy every role, male and female. Sometimes you even forget that I am not you. When you leave it feels so final, so definite. Then you return again and I am there, full on and critical. Some days you love me with a sincerity and a ferocity which makes the impossible seem possible and I think now he really loves me, now we have surpassed “almost” and “what if”, now we are finally living our lives whole-hearted and then we are half-way all over again and I remember that I am the only person in the world. Everyone else is everyone else. I am only me and I don’t know how to handle a human heart.

Thank you for the almosts,

forever yours, forever mine

MLMM Resurrection in Process

Mindlovemisery's Menagerie

For me Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie is my Brothel of Slaking Intellectual Lusts. For those of you familiar with the 90s computer game Planescape Torment this reference might mean something, for the rest of you it probably won’t make much sense so let me explain. The word brothel is misleading. It might be more accurate to call it a philosophical school, poetry being what it is to the soul. For me it is a sanctuary, a place to expand the mind and heart, to explore the sensual, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual realms, a place where inspiration and creativity combine with freedom of expression. It is a place where people can be themselves and form meaningful connections with others through the artistic medium of their choice, at least, I hope it is that kind of place. When I first started MLMM I never imagined that so many people would come together to assist…

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The Artist

Outside the sun wallows and swoons. She is like a woman in love, radiant and docile. Her golden headdress drops feathers to the ground. Feathers which the shadows with their infinite recesses fold into themselves for safe-keeping.

The mud cracks in a way that is vaguely sinister and fantastically human. If I look long enough I will find the face of someone ancient and famous who embodies humanity more in death than most of us do in life.

There is a carnival of flowers dancing around my ankles. There is heat in my body and seagulls shrieking as they swoop dangerously close to my head. I leave them all behind and go inside. Once inside I turn cold and cavernous. I am waiting for an excuse to write so I clean the drain and put on the water full blast and watch everything fall into darkness.

I smell of wool and dried sweat. The window is looking in on me without reservation or pretense. The sky is supple and blue. I want to climb into it and lie down as if it were a lake that I could breathe inside.

Today I visited the home of a painter who became a writer who dreamt of being a painter. I found her words more beautiful then her still lifes and portraits. Her paintings were mechanical. She wrote under a pseudonym but there was more of her in print.

I went home with a postcard of the artist herself not one she had painted but one taken of her in Paris. In the photograph she looks like she wants to crawl out of her skin, like she’s felt everything at least once and has decided that she wants to go on living only she can’t quite bring herself to live the life she really wants. She was phenomenally strong and phenomenally patient and when I look at her I see a person who is both resigned to a life of fire and anonymity, a life of compromise and incessant wanderings.

When I left the museum I realized that it doesn’t matter what you pursue because pursuing anything is still a voluntary act of creation. There is the sun and the moon and a sky full of ceaseless fish with scales that reflect like mirrors all the brightness and vastness which exists in each of us whatever shape our dreams assume.

PS I did like the painting she created of her husband, by far the most expressive

Woman on the edge

It has been a long time, particularly since I have updated Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. As some of you know my life has undergone some pretty significant changes within the last few years. Divorce. Relocation (most recently to Norway for the summer which has been very good for me). Reinvention. New Relationship (we live together). A long-lasting version of Covid. A series of mental breakdowns (involving self-harm). Recently I have been struggling with my weight on top of that. Since January I have lost about 10 kg or 20 lbs. It should be said that I wasn’t overweight when I started to lose the weight. At first I was pretty excited but now I am starting to get a little nervous. I am about 49 kg which is under my personal ideal. BMI 18.8 so still in the acceptable range albeit on the edge. But now I am having massive stomach problems which I do not think is going to help the situation. Usually I lose weight very slowly so for me this weight-loss feels quite rapid. Anyhow that’s not really what I came here to discuss. All of this taken together has really made me look inside of myself. I need to have a goal, a personal goal. Right now my focuses are: joy, freedom, connection/experience, creativity, and “home”. I watched a really good talk lately and I will share the video below. Watch it, I don’t think you will regret it. Actually I have seen a lot of good videos so if you are looking for some good (mostly Eastern wisdom) spiritual talks I have suggestions! I want to create something new. I would like to hand over my beautiful and beloved Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie and start a new project (alternatively if everyone on the team is amenable we could brainstorm ideas to reinvent MLMM) because I need to build something from scratch because I need a new beginning since all these other changes have changed me in someway that I cannot quite articulate. Maybe a magazine. I just know poetry, inspiration, freedom of expression, short stories and spirituality will almost certainly be involved. Maybe divination and adventures (I have been going on a lot of those lately actually). If you have ideas or an interest in taking over at MLMM let me know as soon as possible. Some of you are probably thinking that I have started a number of things and not completed them and you would be absolutely correct. I have started and stopped more projects than I can name. I am not exactly consistent but recently I have learned some things about myself that I had put off knowing for a number of years (as in a lifetime) which I hope will move me forward for once. If not well it could be an interesting distraction or learning experience or another fabulous failure. Who knows??? Who really knows. I just know that I want to write. I need to write. But I need some fresh inspiration. I have noticed my last works have been repetitious, certain phrases keep coming to mind. I can’t stop writing once I start but I am not really writing in a direct way, in an honest way. I don’t know how to explain it but I feel I am dancing around the topic a bit or tiptoeing around some sensitive area or toxic belief that I can’t quite bring myself to touch. Anyway I will get back to you when I know more. I feel I should not rush myself as before but try to go about things in an inspired but disciplined and methodical way. I need to really work towards something for the sake of my sanity. Btw I am still keeping this blog because I have had it for years even if I have come and gone many times.

If the video doesn’t work check After School on Youtube: How to keep your heart open in hell- Ram Dass

Legacy of the Dead

It is only because

you are not here

that I continue

to put one knee

in front of the other.

It is only because 

of your rage towards women

that I no longer have a womb.

Everyone knows 

the best mothers are barren

because their blood stains no one.

You taught me how and what to believe

and now I cannot even think of myself

without finding something of you mixed in.

When I am happy

it is only because I have found

something deeply unfamiliar,

something that you

can not claim from beyond the grave.

In my mouth

there is a fist

pushing back the feelings.

These feelings which belong

to no one in particular.

These feelings like stars

which bloom only in darkness.

I do not move across the sky

in an arch of fire

when the night has passed.

For me the night does not pass

it only remembers

and whoever I might have been

prior to birth is daily extinguished

by the voice of my past.